Philosophical considerations in educational assessment

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, Richard Gunderman considers assessment as one of three basic components of an educational program: curriculum, methods, and assessment. Acknowledging that knowledge and skills are not the only educational objectives that need to be assessed, Gunderman points to other, less easily measured competencies that are relevant to the profession. To gain a deeper appreciation of the importance of how educational assessment is designed and implemented, this chapter considers in more depth the important differences between centralized and decentralized approaches to assessment. In centralized approaches, a few high-level educators, such as a board of radiology, make the decisions and policies about how educational assessment will take place. In decentralized approaches, such decisions are made by educators at individual institutions. In centralized approaches, knowledge and authority are located centrally, and decisions spread in a central-to-local direction. In decentralized approaches, knowledge and authority reside locally, and ideas and information flow from the local to the central. Both approaches exhibit characteristic advantages and disadvantages. After a thorough discussion about the benefits and limitations of centralized and decentralized approaches, Gunderman concludes that when it comes to educational assessment, a balance needs to be struck. Centralization promotes fairness and efficiency, while decentralization promotes engagement and creativity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRadiology Education
Subtitle of host publicationThe Evaluation and Assessment of Clinical Competence
PublisherSpringer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9783642276002
ISBN (Print)3642275990, 9783642275999
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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    Gunderman, R. B. (2013). Philosophical considerations in educational assessment. In Radiology Education: The Evaluation and Assessment of Clinical Competence (pp. 49-54). Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.